Healing Through Feeling
During the 2014 Conflict:
- 1,462 Gazan civilians, including 551 children, were killed
- 11,231 Palestinians were injured, including 3,436 children and 3,540 women, 10% suffer permanent disability
- 18,000 housing units were destroyed in whole or part
- Over 50% of Gaza’s kindergartens were damaged, and 11 were completely destroyed
- As of June 2015, less that 1% of construction materials necessary to rebuild Gaza and accommodate natural growth had entered Gaza
Source: UN OCHA
Since 2006, children living under siege in Gaza have experienced three major military assaults that have caused the death of loved ones and the destruction of familiar surroundings. The continuous blockade and regular Israeli bombardments create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty that can lead to ongoing trauma, necessitating the engagement of each suffering child’s parents and teachers.
Building a Trauma-Informed System of Care
UPA’s Healing Through Feeling program is building a cushion of support around Gaza’s children by hiring local mental health practitioners and providing them with cutting-edge training and professional development. In turn, these practitioners forge partnerships with Gaza kindergartens and lead training sessions for parents and teachers to increase awareness of trauma and its symptoms as well as to provide tools and techniques caregivers can use to alleviate trauma in their children.
Our Vision is to use the trauma-informed system of care UPA constructs in Gaza as a model for expanding the program to other areas where we are operational.
Join Us to ensure that the most vulnerable Palestinian children have the support they need to heal. To make a recurring or one-time donation to the UPA Healing Through Feeling Program, visit http://helpupa.org/donate-healing/
In addition to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, UPA is proud to partner with the American Psychological Association, which has granted us access to five of their most effective children’s books on trauma to translate into Arabic and to use with parents, teachers and of course, children. Learn more about the partnership with the APA here.